03192019 Manar Pana FFA 650

SPRINGFIELD – Several students from the Pana High School FFA joined State Senator Andy Manar at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.

The students were at the Capitol for Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day on March 19. This annual advocacy day brings FFA students, farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other ag interest groups to Springfield to meet state lawmakers, share the ag community’s priorities for the year and offer feedback about policies concerning agriculture, business, conservation, education and more.

Pana FFA students who met with Manar included Serenity Eilers, Amanda Hall, Chase Temmen, Alex Murray and Alex Weitekamp.

Category: People of the 48th

03272019 Manar Bertolis

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed Gillespie High School senior Kennen Bertolis to the Capitol this week as part of his Future Leaders program.

Bertolis, 17, lives in Benld and is the son of Lelia Bertolis. He is a senior, plays trumpet in the band and is a member of the National Honor Society. He enjoys listening to music and spending time with his friends and family. He also keeps up with government and politics, and his primary goals in life are to help others be happy and to have a positive influence on his community.

Bertolis plans to attend Lewis and Clark Community College after he graduates in May and intends to transfer to SIU Edwardsville later. He hopes to study history or politics.

During Bertolis’ visit Wednesday, he toured the Capitol, attended a Senate budget hearing and other meetings with Manar, and accompanied the senator onto the Senate floor where he watched lawmakers debate and vote on legislation.

Category: People of the 48th

03192019 Tville FFA 1 650

SPRINGFIELD – The Taylorville FFA students who are Scotland-bound after acing a national competition this winter are a shining example of what comes from investing in agriculture education in Illinois schools, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

The five students who comprise the Taylorville FFA Livestock Judging Team won the National Western Roundup in Denver in January. Their victory earned them a trip to Scotland for the international livestock tour this summer, during which they will have a chance to compete again and judge breeds that are less familiar to them.

The students joined Manar and Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan in Springfield today, which is Agricultural Legislative Day at the Capitol. The team includes Layne Lebshier, Tanner Mickey, Eric Schafer and Jett Vickery, all of whom are juniors, and alternate Lizzie Schafer, who is a freshman.

For the competition in Denver, students had to evaluate 12 classes of livestock – such as cattle, sheep, swine and goats – by ranking the animals, making cuts and offering successive reasons to an official for why they ranked them the way they did. The competition is intense and requires a depth of knowledge about livestock, as well as skills in reasoning, problem solving, preparation, public speaking and thinking on their feet.

“Agriculture opens all kinds of doors. It opens doors to leadership, to new career paths and to the world. These students are evidence of that. This is why it’s vital that we continue to invest in ag education in Illinois schools,” Manar said. “Because of their efforts and the support of Taylorville High School, these students will enjoy an international perspective on agriculture that few high school students get to experience.”



Sullivan said he is proud of the students and their achievements.

“The accomplishments of these students are amazing. Each has demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of agriculture and the livestock industry and highlights the importance of ag education,” he said. “The skills learned – hard work, communicating as a team and understanding the ever-changing consumer demands – will provide each of them a career path to success in the ag industry.”



The students offered their insight into the experience and what it took to get there.

“After many months of practice we were able to achieve great things in Denver,” Tanner Mickey said. “I feel like what allowed us such great success was the many months of preparation we had in the classroom with the help from our advisers Sue Schafer and Katie King.”

Lizzie Schafer said she is looking forward to the trip to Scotland.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “We will be able to see agriculture in a different country and have the chance to learn about different farming practices that effect global markets.”



Jett Vickery said the agriculture program at his school was instrumental in the team’s success.

“Coming from a non-livestock background, it means a lot that I was able to make it this far,” he said. “I believe that it was all possible from the agriculture program at Taylorville High School.”

Category: People of the 48th

03132019 Manar Dutuit 650

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) welcomed Pana High School senior Lucas Duduit to the Capitol this week as part of his Future Leaders program.

Duduit, 18, is active in the school’s solar car program and is on the cross country team. He also plays piano at his church. He plans to study electrical engineering at college after he graduates in May. His parents are Stacy and Amanda Duduit of Pana.

During Lucas Duduit’s visit Wednesday, he toured the Capitol, attended a Senate budget hearing and other meetings with Manar, attended a rally featuring hundreds of independent pharmacists from central Illinois and elsewhere in the state, and accompanied Manar onto the Senate floor where he watched lawmakers debate and vote on legislation.

Category: People of the 48th

COVID19 Updates